India’s rising old…

Security personnel interacting with an elderly man  during the Assembly polls in the district in West Bengal. Photo-PTI

Security personnel interacting with an elderly man during the Assembly polls in the district in West Bengal.
Photo-PTI

The population of elderly persons, above 60 years, has increased substantially with most of them residing in villages, says the report by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).

“Prevalence of heart diseases among elderly population was much higher in urban areas than in rural parts,” said the ‘Elderly in India 2016′ report.

Based on profile of elderly person in the country, it stated that there were 10.38 crore (8.6 per cent of the population) elderly persons in 2011 as compared to 7.66 crore (5.6 per cent) in 2001.

It said 71 per cent of elderly population resides in villages while 29 per cent is in cities.

The report said that urinary problems were more common among aged men while more aged women reported to suffer from problem of joints.

The sex ratio among elderly people was as high as 1028 women (per 1,000 males) in 1951 which subsequently dropped and again reached up to 1033 in 2011.

The life expectancy at birth during 2009-13 was 69.3 for women as against 65.8 years for men. At the age of 60, average remaining length of life was found to be about 18 years (16.9 for men and 19.0 for women) and that at age 70 was less than 12 years (10.9 for men and 12.3 for women).

n elderly woman with her family members arrives at a polling booth to cast her vote during the West Bengal Assembly elections in Alipurduar on Sunday. Photo-PTI

An elderly woman with her family members arrives at a polling booth to cast her vote during the West Bengal Assembly elections in Alipurduar on Sunday.
Photo-PTI

The report stated that the old-age dependency ratio climbed from 10.9 per cent in 1961 to 14.2 per cent in 2011 for India as a whole. For females and males, the value of the ratio was 14.9 per cent and 13.6 per cent in 2011.

Between rural and urban ratios there has been considerable difference in all the periods and this may be due to relatively higher concentration of working age population in urban areas.

According to 2011 census the old-age dependency ratios are 15.1 and 12.4 for rural and urban areas respectively, it added.

In rural areas, 66 per cent of elderly men and 28 per cent of elderly women were working, while in urban areas only 46 per cent of elderly men and about 11 per cent of elderly women were working.

The proportion of literates among elderly persons increased from 27 per cent in 1991 to 44 per cent in 2011. The literacy rates among elderly females (28%) are less than half of the literacy rate among elderly males (59%).

In the age-group of 60-64 years, 76 per cent persons were married while 22 per cent were widowed. Remaining 2 per cent were either never married or divorced.